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3 Tips for Saving Money on Baby Stuff

saving money on baby stuff

Are you tired of reading about baby stuff from me yet? Don’t answer that! ;-) I can’t help it. I have babies on the brain! Plus, I have a lot of tips to share when it comes to saving money on baby stuff. Since I’ve had to buy things for two little bambinos, I’ve had to be smart about what I get. I’m definitely not 100% ready for my kids to come into the world just yet, but I’m getting much, much closer! Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Kids Don’t Need $700 Cribs

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve seen a lot of gorgeous cribs in that price range. Plus, if you have the extra money and that’s what you want to splurge on, more power to you. However, for my little frugal self-employed self with my student husband, we can’t go out and buy two $700 cribs if we intend to stay committed to saving money on baby stuff.

So, I found one I liked at Wal-Mart of all places. It’s $217 and my in laws are going to buy one of them as a shower gift. You could also go out and get a second hand crib, but I kind of wanted two matching ones, which was hard to find on Craiglist.

2. Don’t Let Anyone Influence Your Buying Decisions

So, you know everyone loves to give you their opinion on raising kids, right? I can’t tell you how many people have given me their thoughts on what to buy, what I have to have, etc. Unfortunately, kids are different, and what works for one kid might not work for mine. So, I’ve tried not to let people influence my buying decisions.

For example, I really want to try cloth diapers. If they can save a lot of money for one baby, imagine how much they can save for two. Plus, I work from home, so I’ll be right here ready to change their cute cloth bums and take whatever extra time the cloth diapers require. Seriously, though, you wouldn’t believe how many people have been adamantly against us doing this, even telling me they were going to buy us disposable diapers for our shower anyway since we’re bound to change our minds.

The moral of the story is that if I listen to all the advice that everyone is throwing at me about what to buy and what to do, I’d definitely be broke right now!

3. Start Saving Money on Baby Stuff by Buying Things Slowly

In case you didn’t know, I apparently have to have a swing and a bouncer and a bassinet and a crib and a playpen etc. etc. etc. because it will make my life with twins “easier.” But, I’m moving across the country when the twins are a month old, and I don’t have a lot of room for all of that stuff. Plus, what if I buy two swings and they both hate it? I’d rather slowly acquire a few things over time, rather than spending all my money right now on things they might not need. This, so far, has been the #1 way I’ve found to stay committed to saving money on baby stuff – by just taking my time with picking out things and not going overboard.

Are you a parent? How did you resist the urge to splurge when you were shopping for baby stuff? How did you stay committed to saving money on said baby gear?

Photo Credit: NinaCoco

 

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Catherine Alford is a personal finance freelance writer and blogger. She received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for other websites on all topics frugal and fabulous, she enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, www.BudgetBlonde.com

32 Comments

  • Liz says:

    In high school I used to work at Babies R Us. Back then they used to have a twins discount of 10% for your purchases. I have no idea if this discount is still around but that might come in handy when you are buying double baby gear!
    Liz recently posted…Starting a BudgetMy Profile

  • I’m not a parent, but I can easily see how babies can “break the bank.” It seems like everything out there is so expensive. My wife is pretty good at finding deals on baby stuff – we have like 1000000 friends having babies, there were three at our New Year’s Eve Party and we had to all celebrate quietly so not to wake Emma haha. I think Zulily is a really good site to find good deals on baby stuff.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…The Debt I’m InMy Profile

  • Honestly, I found that anyone who had older children really didn’t know what they were talking about when it comes to cloth diapers. They are completely different than they used to be. As long as you have a washer and dryer in your home, it will only take about 5 more minutes of your time each day once you figure out a good routine with washing them. And, if you haven’t bought your washer yet, I highly recommend finding one that can do a cold pre-rinse and a hot wash in the same cycle. Plus, a washer that is a top-loader will allow you to get more water into the basin, which will help to get your cloth diapers much cleaner. Well, here I am, trying to influence your buying decisions. Sorry! Feel free to disagree :)

    A good way to save $$ on infant gear is to get them at one of the semi-annual consignment sales that have cropped up all over the country. (you can find them via http://www.consignmentmommies.com) There are at least 5 in my area each spring and fall, and people sell their barely-used infant gear for up to 70% off what they paid for it — swings, jumperoos, activity tables, etc. Instead of buying 2 of everything, see what your kids like and if you want another, try to get it at a consignment sale.
    Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions recently posted…My Kind of DIY: Easy Car RepairsMy Profile

  • Matt Becker says:

    Tip #3 is the one I always tell people. Everyone has their opinion of the one thing you HAVE TO HAVE because they remember it helping them. The truth is that every kid is different every parent is different, and you’ll have to find what works for you. Which is often much less than what you’d get if you listened to everyone else. Baby’s really NEED very very little, so it’s best to just get the essentials beforehand and only pick up more as you actually decide you need it.
    Matt Becker recently posted…How to Choose the Right Type of Life InsuranceMy Profile

  • I bought a $200 crib and it lasted fine through all four kids. Cat, you are so right on all of these points, but I especially love #2. People overwhelm you with advice when you’re about to become a parent, and much of it will be good advice that should be taken seriously. That being said, if you go with your gut, you’ll know which advice to take, and which to dump. Your babies don’t need “stuff”, they need love, and you’ve got plenty of that – for free! :-)
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Can You “Bootstrap” Your Way Out of Poverty?My Profile

  • I agree it’s never too early to start saving for items or even to prepare for maternity leave. Great points!
    Michael Solari recently posted…Get Your Credit ReportMy Profile

  • Great tips, Cat! We saved money by buying things used and resisting the temptation to buy all of the cute baby gear and designer baby clothes. Babies really don’t need all that stuff.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Credit Card Rewards: What I’m ChurningMy Profile

  • The second one is my favorite, and I think it has wide applications. Now that our frugal freak flag flies, both my parents have tons of advice on how we should live a little (i.e. – spend more money). Take more vacations, more date nights, buy some jewelry, whatever…

    Funny how easy it is to spend other people’s money. I guess I’m guilty of doing something similar though, when I tell others how to save their money. :)
    Done by Forty recently posted…Did Americans Really Overpay by $1B at Tax Time?My Profile

  • Michelle says:

    After hitting 15 weeks, my sister slowly started buying furniture. Def helped near the end. She also didn’t know the sex, so she refused to buy any clothes. Instead, she started hoarding coupons (like the $10 vouchers from Kohls and Old Navy). The day she had her girl, she had myself and my aunt run to the stores she had coupons for and buy clothing. We ended up buying about $500 worth of clothing (that would last from newborn to 24 months) for $200!
    Michelle recently posted…All Inclusive Vacations: Keeping it BudgetMy Profile

  • Who needs a crib? Just stick the kid in a pulled out dresser drawer! Just kidding…sort of. I know I actually did sleep in one once when my parents were traveling and the hotel apparently didn’t have a crib. Good for you sticking to your guns about how you want to raise your kids. If you want to do cloth diapers then go for it! Just re-gift the disposable diapers at a future baby shower. :) It’s a win-win!
    Broke Millennial recently posted…How I (Financially) Handle a Long Distance RelationshipMy Profile

  • For whatever reason, an expecting Mom is at the receiving end of all sorts of well-intentioned advice, even from complete strangers. It’s particularly overwhelming for first-time Moms, because you don’t know what you don’t know, which makes it even easier to fall into the trap of buying everything everyone tells you to buy. It’s definitely smart to pick things slowly. As you said you don’t know what your kids will like. I’d assume you are probably having at least one baby shower, which can give you lots of the basic necessities you need.
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted…3 Steps to Raising Financial Confident ChildrenMy Profile

  • I would say Tip #1 applies to any expensive items. My friend wanted $20 organic onesies for her son (it was her first baby), I had already had my son and knew from experience that he pooped through numerous onesies. In fact, I had to cut him out of one it was so bad. So I got her cheap ones, and her son never knew the difference. The great thing about babies is that they just need lots of love and attention and that’s free. :-)
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – Always on my mindMy Profile

  • Elroy says:

    I heard someone recently say to another person who was expecting their first, “You’re still buying all the stuff you don’t need.”

    My advice, which everyone has some, is to make sure you have diapers, wipes and a couple outfits. You can figure out what you need as you go along. My last baby slept in a corner on the floor for a month. Wrapped up in plenty of blankets of course.
    Elroy recently posted…Roth IRA – For the Poor & the RichMy Profile

  • Christine Weadick says:

    Speaking as a mom of three grown kids and a grandson, I’d be inclined to stick to the basics in any clothes, and get the bigger sizes in everything you buy clothing-wise. Babies grow fast!!! There is nothing stopping you from dropping hints about the really cute outfits you are drooling over to friends and family so they can buy them for you. Saving you the money for other things!!!When my daughter was expecting our grandson I think the smallest size I bought him was a 9 month size as that was the biggest size that cute little outfit came in!!!
    Once the babies are here you could also try a friends baby item like a swing or such to see how yours like the item, then, if you want to, buy it after the move.
    Have you looked into any groups for mom’s of multiples yet???? Be a great place to get support and doubles of anything you want as they do have sales once or twice a year. You can accumulate quite a pile of stuff with one baby, it’s worse with more then one so they look to clear out out grown things on a regular basis!!!!
    You mentioned that you will be moving when the babies are very young….. I would take those disposable diapers you are given and use them for times when it isn’t so easy to wash the others. Like during the move, holidays and so on. My daughter wore cloth and I did a diaper load every 2-3 days with the stinkys soaking in a pail in between. If doing it again I would still go cloth and just fire those used ones into the washer and then wash every day or two.

  • Sunny says:

    I bought a ton of stuff for my kids that I could have lived without. Going slow is that best way to go especially with a big move on the horizon. When kids are small they really don’t need a lot. It’s amazing how easy it is to buy, buy, buy. There are so many cute things out there. Be strong.
    Sunny recently posted…I’m aliveMy Profile

  • jonnypean says:

    Great idea Catherine! With so many expenses with a baby in your life, there is no other option other than saving on baby stuff and the tips that you have shared seem to be quite effective.
    jonnypean recently posted…Comment on Here is what should be Your Financial Resolutions for 2014 by The Pension BureauMy Profile

  • Hannah says:

    I would also advise you to ask friends who have older kids if you can borrow their baby stuff. They might still want it back if they decide to have a few more kids, but one friend in particular felt I was doing a service by “storing” her currently unwanted baby items.

    As a result of asking, I received and am getting to keep the following… $500 crib, $350 pump+accessories (I had to purchase the hygiene acessories), $60 high chair, more clothes than one child could possibly wear (with more on the way), $120 baby swing, $30 bouncy chair, and two large boxes of baby toys. I also have a changing table that my friend requested to return when their adopted child arrives from China, probably in 18 months when Kenny will *hopefully* be out of diapers.

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